Two years ago, I wrote a stage adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. I believe this work, like the original story, should be in the public domain. You are free to read, download, distribute, and perform this piece for commercial and noncommercial purposes.
8 M, 2 W, 10+ extras.
The sound of waves and wind, rising.
Lights up on Area 1, the Ritual Room, where two cultist kneel, in tableau. They wear dark green robes, their faces obscured by hoods. They break and draw a wide chalk circle on the stage floor.
ROBERT OLMSTEAD sits upstage of this, at a rolling desk.
His head bent over a typewriter. OLMSTEAD and the desk are moved downstage, into the light. Wearily, he looks up at the paper in front of him. He types as he speaks, slowly at first, then faster. As he speaks, a photograph of Devil’s Reef is projected on the Cyclorama.
April 31st 1927, office of the late Anne-Marie Tilton, Miskatonic University, Arkham Massachusetts. (He trembles slightly) My name is Robert Olmstead and I am a fiction. A character in some strange and perverse tale of horror.
I have been maneuvered and positioned and now, I am no longer in control of myself. There is an inhuman element inside of me. Perhaps it was always there waiting, sleeping…
For this cannot be reality. Yet, I am present and I breath and I perceive the world around me as I always have…and yet, if I am to believe in the notion of my own sanity…I must also assume that which would compromise it.
Innsmouth. A squalid town, worm-eaten and decayed.
What I found there, what found me, is very old and very deadly. A dangerous kind of belief that ends in the destruction of all that we hold dear.
Or I am mad.
But that does not mean that I have not seen the truth. If there is any part of this account which should be heeded, let it be this: The town must be destroyed. Down to it’s very foundations, the waterfront and the reef.
He continues to type as lights and projection fade. The sound of the waves take over…